Focus On



Wednesday, November 24, 2021 @ 1:48 PM

Google, Facebook: Your day of reckoning is coming | Howard Winkler

Not so long ago, the mass communication of information was the domain of “trusted” media who, with the aid of writers, fact checkers, editors and publishers/broadcasters had a monopoly on distribution channels. With the advent of the Internet, and in particular with the creation of platforms like Google, Facebook and Twitter, anyone with a computer now has a voice which can be heard worldwide. ... [read more]

Wednesday, November 24, 2021 @ 1:36 PM

Law schools need to honour Truth and Reconciliation Commission now | Safiya Dossa-Sicchia

Reconciliation starts with law school. It starts with educating the gatekeepers to the legal profession. ... [read more]

Wednesday, November 24, 2021 @ 8:31 AM

Dry cell decision victory for equality | John L. Hill

Almost 20 years ago, Tracy Curry, an inmate of the federal female prison, Grand Valley Institution in Kitchener, had just returned from an unescorted temporary absence when she was confronted by the drug-sniffing dog, Skipper. The dog indicated that the scent of narcotics was present on Curry. A frisk search found no contraband. The inmate protested that she was not carrying any narcotics and consented to an X-ray and pelvic search conducted at the St. Mary’s hospital. Neither the X-ray nor the internal probing detected any contraband.   ... [read more]

Tuesday, November 23, 2021 @ 9:50 AM

If unceded, does law become unseated? | Stephen O’Neill

“We ask of you please to forward this our petition to the Department at Ottawa. The Chief and councillors assembled to consider our miseries, how we are prevented to fish, how we are put in prison for fishing. It was established by Treaty that here where we live only Indians should dwell, and that the fisheries should be our fisheries all round, this was agreed on Aug. 9th, 1836 by Sir. F. B. Head. Since that time, we never did make any other Agreement with the Government by which the Government could come in possession of what belonged to us, until this day we have never received anything for which we should cease to own what our forefathers owned of old.”   ... [read more]

Friday, November 19, 2021 @ 2:37 PM

Chuck’s recipe for stuffed bagels, other DIY lawyering tips | Marcel Strigberger

Do it yourself lawyer? As Abraham Lincoln once said, “A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.”  ... [read more]

Friday, November 19, 2021 @ 2:11 PM

Does R. v. Oakes test still do justice to s. 1? Part two | Jonathan Martin

In my previous article, I made the case that the current Oakes test (R v. Oakes, [1986] 1 S.C.R. 103) is inadequate to meet the broad-scale threat to our rights and freedoms presented by long-term government responses to new global health problems like the COVID-19 pandemic. ... [read more]

Friday, November 19, 2021 @ 10:17 AM

Pro bono work, power of empathy | Ryan Wozniak

Lawyers generally do well for themselves, cloistered from the suffering and inequality that plague too many corners of our society. We are free to decide what work we will do and how much we will be paid for doing it. Consequently, over time, whether deliberately or not, we can lose our ability to be empathic and become detached from the struggles of those who do not enjoy these vocational perks.   ... [read more]

Thursday, November 18, 2021 @ 1:53 PM

Does R. v. Oakes test still do justice to s. 1? Part one | Jonathan Martin

The global COVID-19 pandemic, and the unprecedented government incursions into the rights and freedoms of Canadians that have resulted from it, represents a pressure test for the section 1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms analysis first developed in R v. Oakes, [1986] 1 S.C.R. 103 and synthesized in subsequent decisions. ... [read more]

Tuesday, November 16, 2021 @ 12:06 PM

Is Law Society of Ontario dangerously underfunded? | Michael Lesage

As licensees may be aware, the Law Society of Ontario, as a pure regulator, is unburdened by considerations of commercial reasonableness. This freedom has allowed Convocation to generate a steady stream of good, workable, ideas — from Alternative Business Structures (ABS) to the Statement of Principles (SOP) to subsidizing a regulatory sandbox to benefit non-licensees. Now, as the economy recovers, the law society has a great opportunity to expand the scope and breadth of regulation across many additional areas of private practice. The only real roadblock may well be the failure of Convocation to increase the budget quickly enough to accommodate all of the new regulations in the pipeline. Convocation’s failure to act swiftly in this regard creates the risk that the law society may find itself dangerously underfunded. ... [read more]

Monday, November 15, 2021 @ 1:30 PM

Very scary story | Ken Hill

Let me tell you a scary story (said in a Rod Serling voice). Imagine a couple (let’s call them Ingrid and Tom) who get together in their late 20s. She’s divorced with a young son from her previous marriage. Tom is working hard in his own carpentry business, and it’s growing nicely. Having been through an unpleasant divorce, Ingrid is not keen on another wedding, but she and Tom are committed to each other and a common law union is okay with Tom. Soon a baby daughter is added to the family (call her Sally) and they are doing well enough to afford to buy a home. ... [read more]